5 Things You Must Pack for Your San Francisco Summer Trip | San Francisco Travel
Taking selfies at the Golden Gate Bridge
Always be prepared to capture the moment when you're at the Golden Gate Bridge

5 Things You Must Pack for Your San Francisco Summer Trip

With these essential items in your suitcase, you'll be all set to enjoy summer to the fullest in San Francisco.

To fully enjoy the outdoor events, music festivals, and sightseeing San Francisco has to offer during the summer, there are a few important things you’ll need to pack. With a bit of preparation, the best of the city will be ready for the taking.

Warm, Windproof Jacket

San Francisco is known for its fog and unpredictable weather. Temperatures during the summer average from 54 to 65 degrees F. While you may not be accustomed to packing jackets for summer vacations, you’ll need to bring one with you in order to comfortably eat outside at our award-winning restaurants, to discover our many street murals, and to watch live music at the Stern Grove Festival. Not to mention, a beautiful patio brunch with a view of the Bay is much more fun if you aren’t shivering. Opt for something that will keep you warm when it’s windy but is also lightweight. That way, you won’t be saddled with a heavy coat if the sun does decide to poke its head out.

A visiting couple approach the San Francisco Ferry Building.

Supportive Walking Shoes

Thanks to its mellow climate and many unique neighborhoods, San Francisco is one of the best cities to see on foot. There are a wide array of walking tours available (both guided and self-guided) that will immerse you in everything that makes the city great. Supportive walking shoes are just what you need to take an adventure through historic Haight-Ashbury, a culinary walking tour of Chinatown or hop from brewery to brewery, sampling delicious beers around the city.

A female couple walk past a San Francisco mural.

Casual-Chic Clothing

When dressing for your San Francisco summer trip, take a cue from the locals. Their light, layer-able, bohemian looks were influenced by the hippie and counterculture fashion of 1960s San Francisco and are still popular today because they’re the perfect clothes for the city’s vibe. Leggings, scarves, denim jackets and cardigans keep you cozy when it’s cool and are easy to remove when the temperatures rise. If you don’t already have the right things on hand in your wardrobe, check out local flea markets, vintage stores and funky shopping districts for threads that will fit right in.

Trendy visitors pose in front of a San Francisco mural.

Cross-Body Bag or Daypack

Along with the right shoes and clothes, you need a bag that won’t weigh you down but is big enough to hold your extra layers and all of the quirky gifts you might find. Plus, having your own bag will eliminate your need for disposable shopping bags and help you embrace the eco-friendly ethos of San Francisco. Homegrown companies like Timbuk2 and Rickshaw Bagworks make messenger bags and backpacks in many styles that are beloved by locals.

A visitor hikes to the top of Twin Peaks with his backpack.

Picnic Blanket

If a picnic isn’t already part of your San Francisco summer itinerary, it should be. With so many beautiful parks and outdoor activities, it’s an opportunity you can’t miss. Be prepared by bringing a blanket to sit on wherever you go. Whether you’re planning to sunbathe on the beach or roast marshmallows around a bonfire, you won’t regret having this essential in your bag.

Groups of residents and visitors alike enjoy picnics in Dolores Park.
The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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